VIDEO INTERVIEW: Security and Education

Interview between Mark W. Gabel, Co-founder and Managing Partner, Salus Secure Environments, and Kris Coleman, Founder, President, and CEO, Red Five.

 Mr. Gabel: As one of the leading security companies in the world, what are some of the security elements that you guys look at implementing first when you get involved in a project?

Mr. Coleman: Ideally, it’s driven by the assessment. We do want to understand what you’re trying to protect and what might be trying to attack it, and what might that threat look like. Maybe a hazard. And between threats and hazards we’re trying to take away the highest priority first. We would want to understand it because, for instance, 9/11. After 9/11 everyone was worried about terrorism attacks, but those threats don’t apply to most people. It depends on time and context. Where are you and what is the context you’re operating in, specifically with regards to terrorism? If you lived in New York, if you lived in Manhattan in a high rise then I’d say let’s talk about it. Someone living in the Midwest, that’s probably not the issue. It might be more of the element of dealing with home invasions, dealing with natural hazards like tornados or whatever it might be in that particular environment. As far as first implementation I’d want to understand the environment, I’d want to understand the threats and then we can get specifically in to dealing with the highest priority concerns right away.

Mr. Gabel: I would assume when you guys get a phone call it’s because somebody actually has maybe a situation they are concerned with already. But what about for the average person that may not have you know, an active threat against them or something that they’re actively afraid of? How do you guys approach a situation like that? Or, if just the average guy is or you know maybe a wealthy individual calls and they’re just concerned with security? That obviously changes the approach.

Mr. Coleman: Right, so if it’s reactionary, if they’ve called and they’ve said, “This is what’s happening. We have an employee that’s stealing from us. We have someone who’s worked at the house that’s now angry with us, and we’ve fired them and they’re going to come back and create a problem.” We’re dealing with that concern right away. Obviously, that’s life safety, those kinds of things are immediate. That does give us reason to come in to come deal with that. But if it’s, “I just inherited a great deal of wealth we didn’t expect, but now we’ve got this. I’m new to this, I’m a normal average Joe, how do I deal with it?” I think from that perspective, what we try to approach it is sort of common-sense rule. Let’s assess it, let’s understand what’s going on because now you’re in a new environment. And the reality is today that there are haves and there are have nots as society is becoming more polarized. For people to say, “I’m an average Joe and I’m worth say you know, millions or billions of dollars.” It’s really not a good thing to say online, or out in the world per say because that just raises your profile. What we really like is that people keep a lower profile, stay offline, do not publicize your wealth. But the other half of that coin is that we get people with this wealth that come to us and say, “No one knows who I am.” And that’s a total fallacy. We just sat down with a client out west and they were like, “No one knows who I am, I’m a tech titan, but I’m below the radar.” And the reality is today with the internet and the online resources, no one’s below the radar. What used to take three weeks for a bad guy to develop an attack plan, now really takes a couple hours, which is sad and scary a lot of times. But a lot of our clients that show up that are like, “We have no online persona, no one knows who we are. Why would someone want to hurt us?” And the reality is, you have affluence, you have wealth. People are going to actually go after you.

Mr. Gabel: Sure, sure. I know a lot of the times I hear people tell me, you know, they’re not necessarily concerned about their privacy. Whether somebody can see what they have online or what not. But in my experience, I’ve seen things that were posted online turn into a physical situation, you know, like somebody was broken into while they were on vacation because they posted that they were on vacation on social media. It’s probably just a good idea to not be posting on social media.

Mr. Coleman: That’s a great place to start. We have a society today where oversharing is the norm and we’ve found in many cases that people, whether affluent or not, oversharing is bad. Right? So, you’re not protecting your own privacy. You’re putting out information that you think is helpful and fun and may be interesting, but the reality is, it gives away a lot of helpful information for bad guys. They look at that they say, “Oh looks like you’re going on vacation next week, you’re telling everybody about your trip to Cabo.” But the reality of it is the bad guys are saying, “Oh look you’re not going to be home for a week and that house is vulnerable.” Or if you’re traveling from city to city, what we’ve seen with protective details with what they’re doing with wealthy families is, “How did that set of paparazzi know that I’m going to be at that airport in Mexico?” And the reality is, it was the daughter on social media putting things out saying, “Yeah, we’re going to be here next week. Or that was a great visit to the far east, but I can’t wait to go to Italy in March!” Well, that’s all great information and it helps the bad guys prepare. We think operational security and keeping those things quieter is far more effective path.

Mr. Gabel: Yeah, you brought up something interesting, as a new parent myself. Now my thinking’s got to change and adapt a little bit, with how, you know because we essentially have another security vulnerability with our daughter. Do you guys have, or offer any training or programs that kind of can help a family learn together and be educated together?

Mr. Coleman: Education is probably one of the most important things we do. But the reality is people want to be educated and we spend a lot of time educating. Not just our clients, but everybody that we can talk to, so part of this conversation is about education. But education we find for families falls right into our privacy offerings and our security offerings where we’re talking about, how do we educate the next generation to do a couple things? To reduce their online presence, to set the settings on their devices correctly so they’re not oversharing, be careful of online predators. How they handle themselves in this new environment on a new device. First devices for children now in the seven, eight to twelve range of when people are getting their first devices. I think the most staggering statistic I heard in the last 30 days is that 98% of two-year-olds have an online presence. So how many photos have you taken of your kid? Quite a few I’m thinking. It’s the parents and the grandparents that are doing the oversharing, it’s not the two-year-old. But the two-year-olds, to an adversary are good assets to target. It’s terrible but educating the parents about all those things physical and digital is very important.

Mr. Gabel: It’s crazy, I had some of our friends now even have social media channels for their two-year-olds, posting on their behalf.

Mr. Coleman: Right. Is that necessary? It’s the world we live in and people do, people are going to do what they’re going to do. But our job and your job as well is to help them reduce that risk.

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